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Vascular effects of empagliflozin in chronic kidney disease

Professor Richard Day, Institution: University of New South Wales

2018 Vanguard Grant

Years funded: 2019-2021


Sodium-glucose cotransporter 2 (SGLT2) inhibitors are a class of medications that reduce blood sugar in patients with type 2 diabetes. Two SGLT2 inhibitors including the drug, empagliflozin, have been shown to reduce cardiovascular deaths in high-risk type 2 diabetes patients. This effect likely does not result from the reduction in blood sugar but potentially because empagliflozin also reduces blood pressure and body weight.  There has been limited research about the effects of SGLT2 inhibitors in severe chronic kidney disease. People with chronic kidney disease have poor cardiovascular health including high blood pressure and stiff arteries.

However, their options for medicines to treat these conditions are limited. The proposed study aims to examine if empagliflozin improves cardiovascular health (particularly the stiffness of arteries) in people with type 2 diabetes and severe chronic kidney disease. This study also aims to understand the mechanisms by which empagliflozin mediates any potential cardiovascular benefits. A deeper knowledge of the ways in which SGLT2 inhibitors work, especially in chronic kidney disease, is an important step to understanding which patient groups are likely to have cardiovascular benefits from these drugs.

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